With so many tall buildings and urban parks buzzing with activity, it’s easy to forget that New York is surrounded by water. But just a century ago, miles of docks ringed the city, with a thriving system of trade drawing sailboats and steamships from around the world to lower Manhattan. Spend an afternoon with your sweetheart learning about the city’s maritime history at South Street Seaport, one of the best places for a romantic outing in New York. Begin at the South Street Seaport Museum, where you can visit a 19th Century letterpress shop, watch some traditional woodcarving in action, and pay your respects at the Titanic Memorial Lighthouse. Best of all, the museum experience includes access to some of the classic ships docked at the harbor. You and your date will have a blast imagining you’re sailors aboard the majestic Peking, a four-masted windjammer from 1911 that once traveled between Europe and South America, traversing the dangerous waters around Cape Horn. (Ask someone to snap a photo of the two of you pretending to unfurl the sails.) Then pick out a souvenir from one of the shops or galleries before sitting down to the leisurely part of your day: oyster po’ boys and margaritas from Cowgirl Sea-Horse. The nautical decor in this laid-back spot includes a steer skull attached to a waterski, a massive stuffed sailfish, and of course, plenty of sea horses. Time it right and you’ll be leaving the restaurant at sundown, the perfect time to walk hand-in-hand to the end of the dock and watch the lights of the city–and the nearby Brooklyn Bridge–come alive, reflecting on the dark water like stars in an endless sky.